I had been wanting to get married for AGES and had dropped hints by doing all the usual honest, grown-up things, like sulking at our friends’ engagement parties. But this particular weekend, we were going away to a posh hotel together and I knew (or so I thought) that this definitely would not be THE weekend because it wasn’t a surprise that we were going away and in fact I’d suggested it.
We were staying at a beautiful country hotel in the depths of Sussex and it was lovely weather – early March, but in fact more like June. I had been having a horrible time at work and when we arrived we went to the pool and the sauna and I began to feel human for the first time in weeks. I assumed that the place was having the same effect on John as he was being unusually soppy and affectionate.
I had also been on a diet since Christmas and intended to use the weekend as an excuse for a massive blowout. Hence my eagerness to drink cocktails in the bar before dinner, eat a huge meal and sink more wine than was really dignified. By now, I thought John must be a bit steamed too, as he was getting even more lovey dovey, which I was frankly finding a wee bit irritating.
We eventually staggered back upstairs to our room and I complained all the way about my ridiculous shoes, my tight skirt and my full tummy. When John unlocked the door I stumbled straight in and fell on the bed, groaning with relief. I did become aware, after a short time, of an odd silence, though, and eventually John said, rather tensely, "Haven’t you noticed anything?"
I sat up and was confronted by five dozen red roses – this from a man who, in four years, had NEVER bought me flowers. I was struck absolutely dumb (very unusual!) – that many roses take up a lot of room and are quite a sight! I turned round to try to say something and before I knew it, I was standing up, he was on his knees, and he’d asked me if I would make him the happiest man in the world and marry him.
A silence followed as this was too many surprises for me to deal with at once. After a while, though, I realised that he was going a bit pale and hastily said that, yes, of course I would. But that was the most I could manage for about fifteen minutes and it took me nearly as long to get over the flowers as it did the proposal!